Jordanian diver committed to maritime protection via eco-diving

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-10 15:24:37|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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AMMAN, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Diving into the Gulf of Aqaba, Mahmoud Awartani, a Jordanian diving instructor, slowly untied the fishing nets wrapped around the coral reefs with a pair of scissors and then brought the fishing nets back to the coast.

This is a video clip shown by Awartani who has been teaching diving since 2003 in his own diving center located on the northeast side of the Red Sea gulf.

But eco-diving is what he likes to do during his spare time: collecting human waste underwater and trying to clean up the ocean.

"Unlike fun-diving, eco-diving requires experienced diving skills, as well as knowledge about how to clean up the sea, and familiarity with the underwater biological environment," Awartani said.

"Diving is another life for me. Every time I see colorful corals and fish, I feel like all my negative emotions are released," he added.

During the eco-diving, he has to deal with numerous challenges such as the stone fish camouflaged by the coral reef since a touch by its toxic stab may cause serious injury.

It is essential to teach learners to identify different species of coral reefs and fish so as to protect them from dangerous species and in return marine life from man-made damage, Awatani told Xinhua.

Nowadays, a large number of tourists flock to Aqaba every year to enjoy its colorful coral reefs and fish.

With a 26-km-long coastline, the Jordanian coastal city, home to a population of over 100,000, attracted about 1 million tourists in 2019, according to the official data released by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

"Eco-diving is self-work to protect the environment, which might not be suitable for everyone. But it is our common responsibility to take care of the environment," Awartani said.